DE PALMA

Empire (UK) - - ON SCREEN - NDS

BRIAN DE PALMA is a mas­ter stylist, prone to us­ing split-screens, Steadicams and split diopters to fizz up his thrillers. For their documentary about the direc­tor, how­ever, noah Baum­bach and Jake Pal­trow take the op­po­site tack, plonk­ing De Palma in front of an empty fire­place and let­ting him tell his story solo, with min­i­mal vis­ual chi­canery. it’s a bold move, but it works: the man is on rare form, dis­pens­ing rev­e­la­tions aplenty (Sean Penn was an ab­so­lute ar­se­hole to Michael J Fox on Ca­su­al­ties Of War) and fre­quently ut­ter­ing his favourite ex­cla­ma­tion, the un-scar-face-like, “Holy mack­erel!” go­ing film by film, it’s episodic, but a fas­ci­nat­ing foray into the psy­che of a legend who’d dropped mostly out of sight.

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